Since Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert returned from injury, his team has won 21 of their most recent 25 games due to an impressive defense.
The team has dominated, pulling in defensive rebounds with remarkably impressive efficiency.
Gobert has been especially lethal off the glass when he is on the court with Jae Crowder, Joe Ingles, Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio. During the 106 minutes that they have played together, their defensive rebound rate is at 88.9 percent.
That means this lineup has pulled in almost nine out of every 10 defensive rebound opportunities. That’s the best in the league (minimum: 85 minutes) among all five-man lineups. They also have the best overall net rating in the league as well.
(For comparison, let’s look at a commonly used lineup by the Boston Celtics when they have played Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. This team has pulled in just 63.2 percent of all defensive rebound chances.)
Even though Gobert leads the team with 7.8 defensive rebounds per game, his teammates have helped tremendously when pulling down boards.
Ingles has been particularly proficient in this regard for the Jazz. The only forward who has played at least as many minutes with a higher defensive rebound rate (66.2 percent) is Cleveland’s LeBron James.
The only guards who have played as many minutes as Rubio with a better defensive rebound rate than Rubio (62.0 percent) are Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Houston’s James Harden.
This is actually an area where he has long thrived. Per Cleaning The Glass, the point guard has actually finished in at least the 80th percentile for defensive rebound rate during all but one of his seven seasons in the NBA.
But it’s been even more pronounced since the trade deadline. Rubio has averaged 7.4 rebounds per 36 minutes when playing alongside Crowder. For perspective, when Crowder has not been on the court for Utah, that rate is 5.3 rebounds per 36.
This progress is something worth keeping track of as the Jazz make a push for the upcoming postseason.